Building the Visual Concept of a Movie with Production Designer, Sam Lisenco

WITH Production Designer, Sam Lisenco

Production Designer Sam Lisenco - Kino Society

Building the Visual Concept of a Movie with Production Designer, Sam Lisenco

Episode 14 – Kino Society – Production Designer

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For there to be verisimilitude in movies, there has to be someone who creates a fictional world around the protagonists! Today’s guest Sam Lisenco, an incredible production designer who has worked on several of the biggest movies in recent years like: Uncut gems, Good Time, Frances Ha, and Judas and the Black Messiah which was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars 2021. Sam always knew he wanted to be a filmmaker, but he didn’t know that his thing was production design until he started making short films with friends and realized that what he liked was the creative and aesthetic appearance of the movie. He went to Boston University, where he met Josh Safdie, they quickly became friends and began working together. His passion and effort is developed in all the projects he is involved in, which are almost always recognized by the public and festivals.


  • Sam recounts how he realized he wanted to be a production designer by making short films with friends.
  • How he met Josh Safdie in college, became friends, and started working together.
  • He tells what a normal work day is like for him; researching, deciding as a team how the movie should look, and creating it.
  • Sam explains that the projects he enjoys the most are the ones where he is in tune with the director and the team.
  • His favorite part of the job; staying alone, trying to digest the world of the movie, and executing it before the film crew shows up.
  • Why he prefers buddy cop movies to distract himself and not be thinking about his job all the time.

To learn more about Sam, visit his IMDb profile.

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